Cycling or Walking for Belly Fat – Does It Work?
You know what really grinds my gears? Belly fat. I’ve struggled with it for years, and no matter how hard I dieted or exercised, I just couldn’t seem to lose that stubborn pudge around my middle. It was so frustrating!
But this past year, I finally cracked the code on slimming down my belly after discovering two super simple exercises that actually work – cycling and walking. Let me tell you, incorporating those two activities along with cleaning up my diet and making a few other lifestyle tweaks has been total game changer.
Over the past 12 months, I’ve lost a total of 25 pounds, with most of that weight coming off my belly. I feel lighter, healthier, and way more confident rocking a two-piece now that my gut is finally under control.
In this post, I want to share exactly what I did to ditch the belly fat for good. I’ll go into more detail about cycling and walking, break down the pros and cons of each for slimming your midsection, dish on the other changes I made, and reveal the results I saw from my program.
My hope is that my story will inspire you to take action if you’ve been stuck battling belly fat like I was. There is a solution out there! Let’s knock out that belly bulge together.
Why Target Belly Fat?
Alright, first things first – why is belly fat so bad, and why even target it in the first place? Great question. Here are some of the main reasons:
- Visceral belly fat, which is the fat surrounding your organs in your abdominal cavity, is strongly linked to health issues like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and more. Not good.
- Subcutaneous belly fat, which is the fat under your skin that creates a flabby midsection, can just make you look disproportionate and feel self-conscious about your body. I know I hated how I looked in fitted shirts!
- Too much belly fat increases your risk for insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, and other metabolic problems. There are just so many potential dangers!
- Most experts agree that belly fat is one of the most unhealthy places on the body to store excess fat. It’s tied to so many risks.
So, not only does getting rid of belly fat make you look sexier in your clothes, it also dramatically improves your wellness and reduces your chances of developing major health conditions. That’s why it’s so important to target it!
Alright, now let’s dive into the two exercises that worked wonders for me: cycling and walking. I’ll start with cycling…
Why Cycling Melted Away My Belly Fat
Over the past year, cycling has become one of my true passions. I look forward to it more than any other workout. Here’s an overview of my experience using it to eliminate belly fat:
- Cycling just absolutely torches calories and body fat. In one hour of cycling at a moderate intensity, I can burn around 600 calories. That adds up fast over the course of a week or month.
- Cycling targets belly fat very effectively. The aerobic activity combined with having to engage your core to stabilize yourself on the bike works your ab muscles as you ride.
- Cycling is lower impact than a lot of other workouts like running. It doesn’t pound your joints or lead to overuse injuries. I can go for long rides without pain.
- Cycling gives you a great calorie burn in a relatively short workout. I can burn hundreds of calories in way less time compared to other exercises.
- Cycling can be a social activity, which helps keep you motivated. I joined a local cycling club and met new friends who I look forward to riding with.
- And most importantly, cycling is fun! It feels like play rather than a workout. I genuinely enjoy the rides.
My Cycling Routine:
Here are the key details of the cycling routine I followed to shed belly fat:
- Frequency: 3-4 days per week
- Duration: Typically 45-90 minutes per cycling session
- Intensity: Moderate intensity. I keep my heart rate around 60-70% of my maximum.
- Types of Cycling: A mix of outdoor rides around my neighborhood and town along with indoor stationary bike sessions at the gym on bad weather days. I enjoy the scenery outdoors but the stationary bike has its place too.
Over the course of 12 months, I gradually increased my cycling until I was comfortably doing 60-90 minute rides at a moderate intensity around 3-4 days per week. This equated to burning 500-800 calories per workout.
My Amazing Results from Cycling:
After a year of consistent cycling, here are the results I achieved:
- Lost 25 pounds total, with huge reductions in belly fat specifically. My belt got several notches looser!
- Lost 3 inches off my waistline. Goodbye muffin top!
- Boosted my cardiovascular endurance big time. I can ride faster and further without getting winded.
- Strengthened and toned my core muscles, especially my obliques, from having to stabilize my body on the bike. My abs started peeking through!
- Built strength and definition in my legs from all the pedaling. My thigh and calf muscles really got lean and defined.
- Increased my stamina and energy levels. I feel like I can take on the world after I hop off the bike.
Watching my belly fat decrease month after month as my time in the cycling saddle increased was so rewarding. I loved leaving the gym after a ride and catching a glimpse of my newly tightened core in the mirror.
Cycling ignited a true passion for me and it’s now my exercise of choice for maintaining my healthy, lean physique. I couldn’t recommend it more highly for blasting away belly bulge. The results speak for themselves.
Now let’s talk about walking and how that also helped fire up my belly fat burning…
How Regular Walks Helped Torch My Belly Fat
While cycling was my main training focus, I also started incorporating more regular walking into my routine to accelerate my fat loss. Here’s a rundown of how it helped:
- Walking provides a super gentle, low impact form of exercise. I can go for long walks without any soreness, pain or injury risk.
- Walking is obviously extremely convenient. No gym or equipment required. I can walk anywhere, anytime.
- I find walking to be mentally cleansing and therapeutic. The slower pace and being outdoors is great for clearing my mind.
- Walking is another great social exercise. I often walk with friends while catching up or listen to interesting podcasts and audiobooks.
- Walking still burns a solid amount of calories per hour. I typically burn around 300 calories per 60 minutes of walking.
My Walking Routine:
Here’s how I structured my walking workouts:
- Frequency: 5-6 days per week
- Duration: Typically 30-60 minutes per walking session
- Intensity: Moderate to brisk pace. I walk at a heart-elevating, purposeful speed.
- Types: Mostly outside around my neighborhood, local trails and parks. But I’ll use the treadmill if bad weather strikes.
Over time, I gradually increased my walks until I was doing 60 minute sessions at a brisk pace around 5-6 days per week. This results in burning 300-500 calories per walk.
My Fat-Burning Walking Results:
Here are the excellent results I saw by incorporating more walking:
- Burned extra calories and body fat, especially around my belly
- Maintained and even built lower body strength and muscle tone
- Felt more relaxed and stress-free from the meditative benefits of walking
- Improved my mood from being outside in nature
- Aided in muscle recovery from intense cycling workouts
I found brisk walking to perfectly complement my cycling routine. It allowed me to burn additional calories and fat while also helping me recover between rides. The combo really accelerated my results.
Other Lifestyle Tweaks That Maximized My Fat Loss
Adding in regular cycling and walking was definitely the foundation of my program that sparked the most change. But I also made a few key lifestyle shifts that helped amplify and speed up my results:
- Cleaned up my nutrition: I started eating more lean protein, tons of vegetables, healthy fats, and fewer processed carbs and sugars. Meal prepping helped me stick to this improved diet. This allowed me to slim down while maintaining energy for my workouts.
- Prioritized sleep: I took steps like limiting electronics before bed, blocking light in my room, and trying to get 7-9 hours per night. Better sleep quality decreased my cortisol levels which helped reduce belly fat storage.
- Managed stress: I made my mental health a priority by doing yoga, meditation, getting massages, and leaving more time for fun hobbies. Lowering stress diminished cortisol production and belly bloating.
- Added in strength training: 2 times per week I started doing full body strength workouts focused on compound lifts. This helped me maintain calorie-burning muscle as I lost fat.
Making these small lifestyle upgrades really put my transformation into overdrive. It wasn’t just about the cycling and walking – dialing in my nutrition, sleep, stress levels, and strength training accelerated my fat burning and took my results to the next level.
Does cycling burn more belly fat than walking?
Generally yes, cycling torches more total calories and fat than walking in the same timeframe, thanks to the higher exertion required. However, walking better engages your core muscles. The best approach is combining both workouts.
Should you do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to burn more belly fat?
There is some evidence that exercising in a fasted state in the morning maximizes fat burning. But overall calorie burn and diet consistency matter much more than timing. Just focus on working out when it’s most convenient for you.
Is stationary cycling as good as outdoor cycling for trimming down your belly?
Stationary and outdoor cycling burn about the same number of calories, so they are typically equally as effective. Riding outside adds the benefit of engaging your core muscles more from the terrain variations. But indoor cycling definitely gets the job done too.
Should you do HIIT or steady state cardio to lose belly fat more quickly?
Steady cardio like walking and cycling burns more total fat calories in an extended session. But HIIT maximizes belly fat oxidation during and after the workout from the spikes in metabolism. Aim for a mix of longer steady sessions along with shorter high intensity intervals.
Does the time of day you do cardio matter for burning belly fat?
Some research suggests doing cardio first thing in the morning may burn more fat since your body can tap into fat stores after fasting overnight. But overall, it’s most important to be consistent and get in solid workouts whenever is most convenient for your schedule.
Will solely targeted exercise spot reduce lower belly fat?
Unfortunately, spot reduction of lower belly fat through targeted exercise is a myth. However, the combination of core work required during cycling and walking, along with an overall calorie deficit, will help shed fat from all over your belly. Just be patient!
How much weekly cycling is optimal for losing belly fat?
Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity cycling per week, ideally spread out over 3-5 days for best results. Going above that amount will likely speed up your fat burning results. More cardio = more fat burned!
How often should you walk to notice meaningful reduction in belly size?
For visible belly slimming effects, you need to walk at least 5 days per week for 30-60 minutes at a brisk pace. Walking daily is ideal. Consistently exceeding 150 minutes per week is best for maximal fat burning.
What should you eat before and after walking or cycling to boost belly fat loss?
Before cardio, eat a light snack with carbs for fuel (fruit, oats, etc). After, consume lean protein, healthy fats and vegetables or fruit to refuel and recover. Stay hydrated and limit added sugars.
Should you lift weights too?
Absolutely! Strength training preserves or builds calorie-burning muscle mass as you lose fat. Aim for 2-3 full body strength workouts weekly along with all the cardio. This will complement your fat loss.
Well, there you have it – everything I learned on my journey to a slimmer, sexier belly! I hope my experience gives you some ideas on how to structure an effective fat loss program using cycling, walking, and other lifestyle tweaks.
Here are my key takeaways:
- Be patient and consistent – it took me about 6 months to really notice big changes in my belly. Stick with it!
- Add in both cycling and walking to get a complete calorie burn.
- Clean up your nutrition and make other helpful lifestyle changes like better sleep, stress relief, and strength training.
- Have fun with your workouts and change things up to beat boredom.
- Belly fat will eventually melt away if you stay persistent and determined!
If you have any other questions drop them in the comments. I love connecting with people on their own fitness journeys. Let’s defeat belly fat together. You got this!